Matusow (history, Rice Univ.; The Unraveling of America: A History of Liberalism in the 1960's, 1984) offers the first complete history of Nixonomics. Nixon generally ignored fiscal and monetary matters, preferring to devote himself to foreign policy. George Shultz, Treasury secretary, is lauded as Nixon's finest political appointment; but John Connally, the former Texas governor and a "shameless opportunist," became economic czar by subordinating his responsibilities to Nixon's political agenda. The president's attempt to create a new political majority was dashed almost as much by his failed policies and ineffective responses to the great recession and inflation of 1973-75 as by Watergate. Matusow provides lucid accounts of such complicated issues as wage-and-price controls, dollar devaluation, demise of the gold standard, and the emergence of the global economy. Highly recommended for academic and large public libraries.?Karl Helicher, Upper Merion Twp. Lib., King of Prussia, PA
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The most interesting thing about Nixon's Economy is the insight it offers into what people were thinking at the time.... Mr. Matusow tells a great story, of hubris and ignorance, of fecklessness and lost opportunities. It might have been enriched had he consulted some of the many living participants in these events rather than relying solely on published and documentary sources. Nevertheless, it is a very readable and insightful study of a critical period in American economic history. --The Wall Street Journal, Bruce BartlettSee all Editorial Reviews